Amnesty Marks One Year Since President Obama's National Security Speech

Press Release
May 21, 2014

Amnesty Marks One Year Since President Obama's National Security Speech

Contact: Gabe Cahn, West End Strategy Team, gabe@westendstrategy.com, 202.776.7700, c: 202.412.1678, @AIUSAmedia

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Marking one year since President Obama's national security speech on May 23, 2013, Steven W. Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement:

"President Obama has failed to deliver on real national security reform. Big picture, the forever war continues full throttle and human rights remain the missing ingredient from U.S. counterterrorism policy. President Obama is running out of time to shift his legacy from broken promises to real change.

"Dozens of cleared detainees remain held at Guantanamo despite a Congressional roll-back on transfer restrictions. Drone strikes continue in secret, apparently under the administration's radical redefinition of "imminent threat," without any public investigations of alleged illegal killings.

"The Senate report on CIA torture remains secret as the CIA decides what to make public. Furthermore, the U.S. government's mass global surveillance disclosed by Edward Snowden last June risks becoming the new normal.

"President Obama must do more and Congress must ensure it happens. The legislative branch should repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force, end restrictions on closing the Guantanamo detention facility, and pass real surveillance reform that bans dragnet collection and respects the rights of all people around the world."

For more information please see Amnesty International's new report: Another Year, Same Missing Ingredient: Human Rights Still Missing from U.S. Counterterrorism Policy.

Available for interview: Steven W. Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA, and Zeke Johnson, director of Amnesty International USA's Security & Human Rights Program.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million members in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.